50 years of celebrating MLK in Lexington
State and local leaders led thousands of people through the streets of Lexington Monday celebrating the legacy of Martin Luther King Junior for the 50th year. WUKY’s Arlo Barnette was there.
The Freedom March and Commemorative Program honoring MLK is one of the oldest in the country. It began in 1973, five years after his assassination, as a candle-lit march through UK’s campus. Dr. Saida Grundy watched the event grow in scope throughout her childhood, after her father Chester Grundy became program director. She was Mistress of Ceremonies this year, and reflected on the threats of violence her family received in response to their activism.
A Half-Century of Lighting Candles of Hope Against The Threat of Darkness… that was the title of this year’s event. Governor Andy Beshear was on hand to say that there’s a lot of work left to be done, such as creating a more equitable education system, restoring voting rights, and ensuring access to healthcare. Mayor Linda Gorton urged each person to carry on the legacy of Dr. King.